by Thanda Mhlanga on March 13, 2018
5 min read

There’s no denying the appeal of a private African safari away from crowds of fellow travellers.  You journey to the wild to immerse yourself in the grand vastness of untouched nature, to be bathed in sunlight as you meander (never walk, that’s suburban) while the Lion King soundtrack inexplicably echoes from a bush. Now imagine basking in this, your lifelong dream come true, and seeing from the corner of your eye… humans. But, like, a lot of them. This is not what you signed up for; you’ve gone to the WILD for crying out loud.

As fellow tourists, we know the perils of being thrust among throngs of our own kind. And because we understand, we’ve come up with ideas for how you can explore the hordes while avoiding the masses.

1. Go Camping (But In Style)

Remember the time you had to set-up a tent in full view of an overachieving family of life-long campers? Remember how judgy they were as it took you several attempts to set it up? Remember how a loved-one had to wrestle a wild boar to redeem your family’s honour? Yes, Rick, we too have been there.

To avoid this scenario, let the experts do the technical stuff and enjoy a more private safari experience. Places like Mara Plains Camp in Kenya provide the tents, the sights and the modern comforts from their backyard in the wilderness. Built to complement its riverine forest setting, it’s one of only five camps in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy bordering Maasai Mara Game Reserve. As a result, there is a low density of tourism vehicles, which provides the ultimate safari experience.

A bedroom with a wooden veranda in the middle of the bush

The camp setting at a luxury safari
Photo credit: Mara Plains Camp

At Mara River Tented Camp in Tanzania, an off-the-grid luxury tent hideout, safari-goers have prime viewing of the Great Migration where over a million wildebeest brave the river’s crocodile-infested waters to get to the other side.

A bed inside a stylish tent at Sand River Masai Masai

The interior of a luxury tent
Photo credit: Sand River Masai Mara

A portion of the Mara River known as Death Valley in Kenya

2. Go On Photo Safari (And Get Some Help)

We love a stylishly-captured car bonnet as much as the next amateur photographer; sometimes all a picture needs (especially a lucky snap of a once-in-a-lifetime black rhino sighting) is the outline of a hatchback. But just in case you want to try the minimalist approach – with just the wildlife – a photographic safari somewhere remote might do the trick.

Private game reserves and safari lodges like Singita in Kruger National Park and Royal Malewane employ rangers and trackers who are also wildlife photographers and who can help you capture one-of-a-kind safari snaps.

A leopard sighted on safari at Singita Kruger National Park

A leopard sighting on safari
Photo credit: Singita Kruger National Park

A safari vehicle comes across a herd of migrating wildebeest at Royal Malewane

A safari vehicle near a herd of wildebeest
Photo credit: Royal Malewane

Ulusaba Cliff Lodge and Ulusaba Rock Lodge are just two properties offering photographic safaris in the Sabi Sand and have packages that include professional photographers to assist and guide you in capturing those special moments.

An panoramic view of Ulusaba Rock Lodge, Sabi Sand

A lodge situated on a rock
Photo credit: Ulusaba

A herd of elephants drinking water at a steam near Ulusaba Rock Lodge

A herd of elephants near a stream
Photo credit: Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

3. Honeymoon In The Wild (The Luxurious Way)

A private African safari is not only a great way to rejuvenate emotionally and spiritually, it can help you recover from pre-wedding stress (and the horror that was your drunk uncle’s wedding reception toast). Getting to relax and rediscover one another in a natural setting that inspires wonder and gratitude is why a honeymoon safari is the best way to start your marriage. It’s also an opportunity to do cool things like staring overlong into sunsets and whispering meaningful at the sky – while on a deck.

If tranquil is what you’re after, the Lion Sands in Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a great choice. You can spend nights in a magic treehouse observing the night sky and days on safari in search of the famous Big 5.

A secluded night beneath a sky inside a Lion Sands treehouse

The view outside a treehouse
Photo credit: Lion Sands

&Beyond‘s range of lodges in Botswana’s Okavango Delta offer gorgeous combinations of luxury, romance and wilderness. Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp is considered the Delta’s most luxurious safari experience and Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge‘s collection of cottages, designed to organically blend into the surrounding nature, are the height of escapism while on safari, it often makes the list of Africa’s most romantic destinations.

Freshly-made bed in an open tent overlooking a water landscape

As you get up, a fantastic view awaits you
Photo credit: Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Luxury, comfort and views at Sandibe Okavango

The palatial inside of cottage
Photo credit: Michaelis Boyd and Nick Plewman

4. Book Your Guide To The Wild

Getting away somewhere remote (even if that’s the whole point) can be scary. You can have your safari away from crowds experience without being completely abandoned – private guides are great way to mitigate some of the stress and anxiety. They will stick with you, your family or group for the length of your holiday, ensuring that you get to see Africa’s Big 5 in action and whatever other experiences you might desire. They will:

  • Help optimise your game viewing and wilderness experience by taking you to diverse locations
  • Share their wide-ranging expertise – like photography and tracking
  • Answer all your questions and see to your special requests
  • Act as liaison between you and various lodges
  • Help you get a deeper understanding of Africa and a richer experience of its cultures and history

To inquire about Rhino Africa‘s private guided tours click here